Ranorex Review
We are in full production executing thousands of test cases, multiple time per sprints across various platforms. However, I would like to see a load balancing tool for test execution.


Valuable Features:

The ability to use code (C#) to control the testing operations as well as the minimal training to get team members up to speed and productive have been valuable features for us.

Improvements to My Organization:

As a company, we have tried several approaches to institute automated front-end testing with limited short term success. Currently, we are in full production executing thousands of test cases, multiple time per sprints across various platforms. By doing this we have freed up the team to -

  1. Do more automation; and
  2. Conduct in-depth testing not done previously.

The end results are a significant drop in customer-found defects.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to see Ranorex come up with a load balancing tool for test execution. For example, if I set up 10 VMs as UI clients I would love to be able to provide this group to the test suite so it would send test executions to the next available client. The result would be that I finish testing as soon as possible. 

Also, I would like to see the popup watchers be launched conditionally, and not each as a thread running in the background. For example, if there is a hang in the execution you launch a watcher and check for condition A. If not condition A then launch second watcher and look for condition B.

Use of Solution:

We have been using Ranorex as our primary UI automation tool for over three years.

Deployment Issues:

We did in fact encounter problems when deploying the tool and to some degree we are still handling some of these problems. The first problem we came across was not unique to Ranorex but was the fact that our front end was applet based and none of the tools explored could interact with the applets in any consistent way. 

We had tried out several tools including the high-end HP suite (with help from one of their architects) with very unstable results. When it came to Ranorex, at least it was stable and we were able to consistently run X,Y coordinate scenarios. Base on that we instrumented the applet code and were able to access it via the User Code modules.

Previous Solutions:

We have in fact had several failed attempts at automation with our product and have been evaluating tools all along. The reason we ultimately settled on Ranorex was a combination of its current state and our being able to overcome problems as the occurred.

Initial Setup:

Setup is simple and straightforward. The integration with SVN was simple, and the license server was very simple.

ROI:

By our calculations we are now getting a return of 50% time saved in team efforts, making the team 50% more productive.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

It’s always a good idea to negotiate price with vendors to get the best possible deals balance the numbers of licenses with the group/bulk discounts.

Other Advice:

Given the makeup and technical level of our entire team and the product we are developing. This was and continues to be a good fit.

Make sure it fits with your team goals and products. Consider the profiles of folk you will need to hire to implement and maintain the testing. There is a stigma with being in QA as opposed to being a developer, so you may implement a tool that is hard to hire for. Take for example Selenium, lots of QA want it on their resume because they can demand more compensation, the profile needed is that of a developer.

Sample results

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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